Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, non-Mexicans may obtain direct ownership of property in the interior of Mexico. By Mexican law, properties within the 50 km of any oceanfront and 100 km of any border must be acquired via a bank trust or via establishment of a Mexican Corporation.
Yes, laws passed in 1973 and 1993 have made it possible for foreigners, foreign firms, and Mexican firms with foreign participation to acquire interests in coastal real estate through a bank trust or a Mexican Corporation. Please note you can see more information about Bank Trust and Mexican Corporation in the FAQ – Closing process section.
Yes, a non-Mexican must purchase property within the restricted zone either with a Bank Trust or under a Mexican Corporation. If you want to acquire a property solely as a residence, you need to acquire it with a bank trust. If you want to acquire for purposes other than residential, you can acquire via Mexican Corporation with certain requirements and procedures.
Foreigners often worry about their land being expropriated by the Mexican government. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico may not expropriate property, except for a public purpose. This is the same as "Eminent Domain" in the U.S. When it is necessary to expropriate land, swift and fair market compensation must be paid, together with accrued interest.
The bank trust is a legal substitute for fee simple ownership, but in many cases, the trustee is the legal holder of the property. As a beneficiary, you have the right to sell your property without restriction. You may also transfer your rights to a third party or pass it on to named heirs.
Anyone, even someone in Mexico on a Tourist Visa, may buy property. It is stated that if you sign a contract, rent a house or condo, buy a house or condo, or lease property, you are no longer a "tourist" and therefore, are invited to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. But in order to acquire property, it is not necessary to possess a Temporary Resident Visa.
When you arrive in Mexico, a Tourist Visa is issued. This visa allows you to remain in Mexico for up to 180 days (almost six months) without working. You also have the option while in your home country to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, which is valid for a 12-month period and can be renewed for up to four years.
This is the visa that is obtained when first entering into Mexico and can continually be renewed by simply leaving Mexico within the allotted 180-day period, and then reentering.
This is a document for anyone who wants to live part time in Mexico, but does not necessarily intend to make this their permanent home. To be granted a Temporary Resident Visa status, you must prove you have sufficient resources to be financially independent, or meet certain requirements to be able to work or own a business in Mexico. Temporary Resident Visa "Rentista" status is available to anyone with a monthly income (from investments, social security or other retirement) more than $1,000 USD plus around another $500 USD for each dependent. If one owns property in Mexico, the amount of income required is reduced by nearly one-half.
This document is for a person who intends to permanently reside in Mexico, with qualifications only slightly more stringent than temporary resident status. After four years of successfully meeting the requirements of Temporary Resident Visa (including restricted time out of Mexico), one may apply for "Inmigrado" status, which allows you to enjoy most of the rights and privileges of a Mexican citizen, the primary exception being the right to vote. Inmigrado status does not require you to give up your native citizenship, but holders may freely work and remain in Mexico without annual renewals of immigration paper.
Yes, you can sell to either a Mexican or a Non-Mexican. Please note that a Non-Mexican would also be required to set up a bank trust.

Define your Budget

I always advise to my clients an approximate rate of 6.5% of the price, but it can go up to 11%. The final cost will depend a lot on the price of the property, but other factors should be considered. I prefer to be conservative on the spreadsheet.
There are just a few options available for foreigners. In general, the best option is taking advantage of preconstruction projects offering financing. This can give you up to a year to pay for your property in Mexico. Ask your agent for reputable developers currently offering this option.
The pricing per square meter is a constantly changing figure. Especially in the past 2 years, the price has been jumping constantly as this zone continues to be a booming area. Get in touch with us to know the latest figures: Contact Us.

Include the closing costs on your budget

It is common that the buyer pays the transfer of acquisition tax and all other closing costs, including the Notary's fees and expenses, while the seller pays his capital gains tax and the broker's commission.

Define if you need financing

For non-Mexicans buying real estate in Mexico, usually the transactions are cash operations. Most of the time non-Mexican buyers use home equity or other assets from their home countries to raise capital for investing here in Mexico. With the new tools now available, allowing for Mexican Property to be mortgaged, many foreigners are now discovering new exciting options to purchase their Mexican ocean front homes.
Yes, you can finance, raise your capital from any bank in the US or Canada that will allow for such operation. In other words, here in Mexico there are no restrictions, it is basically the banks who are processing the loans who will advise you whether or not they have a program to finance property in another country.

Making the Offer

The offer to purchase contract is normally a simple written document that declares how much you are willing to pay for the home provided that certain conditions are met. In some cases you might consider having a lawyer review it due to the legally binding conditions and the fact that you will be signing and dating.

Once you have found the right property, let your TOP Mexico buyer’s representative know as soon as possible that you're ready to reserve or to write an offer to purchase.

Please note that with the new anti-money laundering laws and due to the new real estate licenses, it is important for us to have an offer to purchase for every transaction.

Your offer should have a time limit for the seller to accept it, reject it, or make a counter-offer. You should also include the date, if you plan to use an escrow account, outline conditions, amongst other items. If a counter-offer is made, you will have some time to respond. Often, several offers go back and forth until an offer is accepted, or one party decides to end negotiations.
Yes, it is usually accompanied with an earnest or reservation deposit.
When you sign an offer to purchase a document, the sales agent will ask you for “earnest money.” Earnest money is usually given when purchasing an existing property, and refers to a monetary commitment that shows that you are serious about wanting to buy. Usually, you will be asked to deposit for 5 up to 10 percent of the sale price.
The earnest money on most occasions is made out to the notary, the sellers listing real estate agency or into escrow. I recommend using an escrow account which may cost a little more, but allows for safer administration of monies.
An escrow account involves a process whereby an impartial third party, such as an attorney, an escrow company or a title company, is entrusted with the job of seeing that the transfer of ownership takes place according to the terms of the written contract agreed upon by all parties involved. The escrow agent holds any funds safely until all the conditions and details have been realized as instructed by the contract and disburses the funds to the proper parties at the proper time as outlined in the escrow agreement signed by both the buyer and seller.
In the offer to purchase a time period is normally stated for a response from the seller to either accept or reject the offer. Once the offer has been accepted, and if all documents are in order and clear, the establishment of the bank trust or corporation can be realized. This may take from 4 to 6 weeks. With the bank trust or corporation established, the notary public can be contacted to initiate its process which may be 7 days approximately.
Normally the escrow account quantity is forfeited. On some occasions a penalty amount less than deposited into escrow by the buyer can be defined.
When selling condos in pre-construction, most developers will ask for investors to reserve units with a certain quantity ranging from $10,000 up to $20,000 USD.
Usually, once a reservation has been made on a unit, the developer will forward a copy of the contract for review by the investor. A certain amount of time is allowed to the investor to review such contract ranging from 7 days up to 30 days. If the investor decides to proceed, 20% up to 50% might be requested as down payment. During the construction process up to 90% of the unit value is collected, and the final 10% is usually collected at the actual title transfer.

Retaining legal counsel

Not always, but many people prefer to work with an attorney due to the fact that many of the legal contracts and other paperwork involved in buying a home in Mexico are complex and can be confusing to the general public. An attorney can review the title of the property and ensure it’s free of liens or defects, he can review contracts and make you aware of special considerations and potential problems, and can also coordinate and accompany you to the closing.
Investors should hire competent Mexican legal counsel when contemplating any real estate investment. Mexican laws and practices regarding real estate differ from those in the United States. Your Buyer’s Representative can assist you in finding a quality attorney.
The cost varies depending on the price of the property and the services provided. But for you to have a general idea, a closing done with the assistance of an attorney can go from 5% to 7% of the cost of the property, including the bank trust and Notary Public costs. If you want more details, please go to Closing Costs. See Closing Costos

Escrow account

An escrow account involves a process whereby an impartial third party, such as an attorney, an escrow company or a title company, is entrusted with the job of seeing that the transfer of ownership from the Seller to the Buyer takes place according to the terms of the written contract agreed upon by all parties involved. The escrow agent holds any funds safely until all the conditions and details have been realized as instructed by the contract and disburses the funds to the proper parties at the proper time as outlined in the escrow agreement signed by both the buyer and seller.
Using this tool depends on the buyer and seller, but we recommend using it at all times, since it’s the safest way to ensure that your funds will be safe during the process and delivered only when the property or the conditions are as stated in the contract.
This service is common in many areas of Mexico and popular among expats. In the Riviera Maya there are at least two companies that we recommend: Mexlaw and Stewart Title.
Yes, it is always advisable to notify the listing agency and the seller of your desire to utilize an Escrow account.

Purchase Contract

The Purchase Contract is basically a contract giving beneficiary rights to the investor of a specified unit or units. The contract also outlines the payment schedule, dates of delivery, size and location of the unit, size and location of the complex amongst other details. Other names for the Purchase Contract are Hard Contract, Promissory Contract or Assignation of Beneficiary Contract.
These contracts can be reviewed by the buyer, and it is also recommended that a Mexican legal counsel do a revision as well.
The buyer signs on the buying part. The legal representative of the developing company, or the person who has legal authorization and capacity will sign on behalf of the selling part.
No, not until the property has established a condominium regimen will the developer be able to transfer title of the individual condo units and at this time, will the operation be recorded and realized with a Notary Public.
Several items are necessary to be contained within this document. Payment plan, delivery dates, items to be included with delivery amongst others. Your Buyer’s representative will work closely with you during this process.
There are two options for selling a property. The first is open; the owner can choose the company or companies through which he wants to put his property for sale. The owner sets the price, and there is no commitment on the part of any agency to sell the property. It is the owner who does the marketing. The second option is as an exclusive listing; in this case, the seller and the company make a contract with a fixed duration (usually one year). In this contract, the parties agree on a commission for the selling agent, and the owner gives the company the exclusive right to do the marketing of the property and sell it. After the sale, you need to consider some taxes and processes.
It's definitely not easy to feel confident with someone who does not speak your language. It is why it is suggested to always work with an attorney and agent who speaks your language. The advantage of working with TMRE is that we have partnerships with English-speaking lawyers, as well as a multicultural sales team. We have agents who speak English, French, Russian and Portuguese, among other languages
It depends on the average price of the area, considering what is for sale and what has been recently sold. A good practice is to take at least five similar properties and make a comparison of prices, amenities, and everything the house offers. This way, you can give your property a real, fair, and attractive price, which is fundamental for the success of the sale.
The best way to promote your property is to show it to your potential customers using as many channels as possible. You can do this yourself, but it takes a lot of time and dedication. Listing your property on our website is free of charge. However, our marketing team focuses on promoting those properties with which we have an exclusive sales contract. These properties are published and shared on eight sales channels, such as social media, mass mailings, prospecting, and open houses, among others, to achieve a faster sale. Whether it is an open listing or an exclusive one, when you complete the transaction, the commission agreed upon since the signing of the contract remains the same.
This is one of the most frequent doubts. Therefore many customers mistakenly make the decision not to give it exclusively to anyone. Also, it is because they think it will limit their chances of selling the property, but it's quite the opposite. By listing your property exclusively with TMRE, we not only make sure to promote it across all channels, but also introduce it to more than 300 brokers in the area. Exclusively offering your property has many advantages, starting with our commitment to promote achieving the highest exposure. Besides, it is convenient to have only one agent to deal with. For instance, if you change the price, you only have to inform one agent. He will be in charge of updating it in all media and communicating it to other real estate companies. By having contact with a single person, it's easier for you to maintain control over ownership and sales strategy.
Find an agent backed up by a well-established and experienced company. They should know the process of selling properties in Mexico and how to guide you through pricing your property with a fair and competitive amount. Ask them to do a breakdown of expenses, so that from the beginning, you know what your profit will be once the sale is closed, subtracting taxes, commissions, etc.
When you sign an exclusivity contract, we commit to submitting a monthly report. The report will show detailed strategies used to promote the property, visits, and feedback from prospective buyers. Your agent should send you samples (screenshots of social media posts, campaigns, and emails that have been sent) so that you are aware of promotional activities. He will also suggest possible improvement or adjustment strategies, to sell the property in the shortest possible time.

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